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How to tell which PCI express slot I have

If you want to upgrade your PC, you need to make sure you have room to plug them in. Many upgrades, including GPUs, plug into PCI Express slots. Here’s how to tell which PCI Express slot you have, so you know your options.

You can identify your PCI Express cards visually (x1 slots are 1 inch long and x16 are 3.5 inches long), or using the command line from within Windows or Linux. The command line is more reliable and helps you identify an x4 or x8 slot with an x16 connector.

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How to tell what motherboard you have

Your motherboard determines how much you can upgrade your PC. It also determines what upgrades will and won’t work in your PC. Here’s how to tell what motherboard you have, possibly without even opening your computer.

You can check which motherboard you have by running a WMI command in Windows, dmidecode in Linux, or looking for visual cues on the motherboard itself.

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Why is it so hard to find computer parts?

Back in July, I went to Micro Center to get a video card for my son. The selection wasn’t great. They had a few $50 cards. They had three $110 cards. Not three different ones. Three GT 1030s. Total. And nothing else under $2,500. And they didn’t have a ton of those either. Other parts were less scarce, but not what I’m used to. So why is it so hard to find computer parts?

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IBM Model M vs Cherry MX Blue

To say the IBM Model M keyboard has a cult following is an understatement. Although it fell out of favor for a time, it’s made a comeback in recent years. Mechanical keyboards as a whole have also made a comeback in recent years. Cherry MX Blue switches are popular because some say they have a clicky IBM like feel. So let’s take a look at the IBM Model M vs Cherry MX Blue.

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Should you update your BIOS? The pros and cons

Back when the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities came to light, we had a spirited discussion after work about the mitigations. On some systems, The mitigations required a BIOS update. My boss asked, who updates their BIOS? Fair question. So should you update your BIOS?

I said I wanted to start using that as a job interview question. I could be convinced either way, but I want someone to be able to defend their answer. So let’s go over the pros and cons of updating your BIOS.

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